For Hamad Al-Ali, social media was the vehicle to make his dreams come true. Known online as Hamad Qalam, he gained great publicity from social media, mainly Twitter, where he has attracted around one million followers. This online fame was what propelled him to TV, where he has his own talk show now. After graduating from the Faculty of Media at the Kuwait University, Hamad started his career in the private sector, where he worked in banking, telecommunications and a TV channel.
Then he decided to set up his own company, working in marketing and public relations. “Working in the media was my dream since I was a child. I finally realized this dream through my talk show (Ma’ Hamad Show) that I present on Al-Rai TV every Saturday night. The show is unique in the GCC and my guests are from Kuwait and abroad, whose names I announce on social media. According to Al-Rai statistics, my show has the highest viewer ratings. I’m very happy with this show as I have received a lot of positive feedback from my fans and viewers,” Hamad told Kuwait Times.
“I started posting on Twitter in 2011 as a regular guy, presenting social issues that people are interested in. I wasn’t commenting on political, religious or sports issues, so I had more followers as I was spontaneous. With the increasing number of followers, my popularity grew, and various companies started to approach me to advertise their goods and services, so I invented indirect advertisements,” Hamad pointed out.
With new apps emerging on social media, Hamad had to be up to date, so he created accounts on Instagram and Snapchat. “Today, I have around one million followers on social media. The goods that I advertise are fast-moving. My way of advertising is like a personal experience rather than commercial, and I never advertise bad products, as I always publicize them after trying the products myself,” he stated.
“For instance, I came up with a story for a new mobile phone in the market, or I visited a restaurant where I had lunch and recommended it to the public. Also, when I travel, I take photos and videos of the entire trip and the hotel to show my followers, and these hotels then tell me that bookings have increased. Various airline companies have also invited me to travel with them and share the trip with my followers. I’m also a brand ambassador for Jaguar cars, the first time this automaker has a Kuwaiti ambassador. They gave me a vehicle with a contract that I’m not allowed to drive a different vehicle for one whole year,” Hamad revealed.
According to him, each of the social media apps has a different function or activity. “I express my opinions on Twitter, while I post pictures and videos on Instagram. On Snapchat, I post videos of my personal life. So I use each of these programs in the most suitable way. Most of my followers are from Kuwait, but I also have thousands from the GCC and even some followers from the West,” he said.
Community service, humanitarian work, and volunteering are part of Hamad’s life. “I have participated in various humanitarian activities and also organized a humanitarian campaign called ‘Hamad has a Flower’, in which university students helped me gather clothes and electronic appliances for people in need that we collected from people who donated them. We distributed it to needy people both inside and outside Kuwait, especially in refugee camps in Jordan. Also, I have participated in marathons and presented seminars encouraging humanitarian work. I was also awarded for some of these humanitarian activities in Kuwait and in Qatar as well,” he said.
He likes to share his life with people. “My followers live with me the whole day. Even when I founded my company, I was with my followers and got their opinions when buying the furniture, so they felt that they were a part of me. Today, my company has grown and I also have clients from abroad including Spain and Colombia,” noted Hamad.
“I am keen to interact with my followers, so I hold competitions for them and give them prizes. I prefer to give winners airline tickets rather than mobiles. In fact, these competitions and prizes are a kind of payback, as I don’t forget their role in my life, and my popularity is due to them, so I owe my fans this. It’s my responsibility to make them happy,” he said.
“I’m glad when I do something positive in the community. For instance, I was not fastening the seatbelt while driving. Then I realized it’s not correct and started using it, and even did a campaign four months ago promoting it. Till today, I always buckle up. I was happy when many of my followers wrote that they started using seatbelts after they saw me using it,” concluded Hamad.
By Nawara Fattahova